Archive for Media coverage

Tri-C adjuncts meet April 25

The Tri-C Adjunct Faculty Association will meet Friday, April 25, at 2:30 p.m. at the Independence Public Library, 6361 Selig Dr. in Independence 44131.

A map with directions is on the library website. Nick Gurich, organizing director for SEIU 1199 will be our guest speaker.

If you didn’t hear the broadcast discussing adjunct faculty issues on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on April 16, which featured our member Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority,  a podcast is available on the DR Show website. Maria did a great job!

NPR story on adjuncts expected to air Monday

NPR is expected to air national education reporter Claudio Sanchez’s story on adjunct faculty on All Things Considered on Monday, Feb. 3.

Check the program schedule of your local affiliate for times. The story can also be heard on the All Things Considered website.

The story is expected to focus on adjunct faculty at Tri-C and the University of Akron, two campuses that NPR”s Sanchez visited when he spent a week in Ohio last October.

Please tune in and listen. And share the link and your thoughts about the program via Facebook, Twitter and email. Check your local affiliate schedule for exact times.

Watch NFM president advocate for adjuncts on MSNBC

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, appeared live on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show onmhp show MSNBC last Saturday, Nov. 30. She was part of a panel discussion on how universities and colleges treat adjunct professors.

Read the story, “Off the Tenure Track, Part-time Professors Face Low Pay, Negligible Job Security,” and watch the two video components, including the eight-minute video of the panel discussion that included Maria and three other advocates for adjunct faculty.

Note that the video does not include the final minutes of the panel in which Maisto answered Harris-Perry’s question about what parents, students and tenured faculty can do to promote equity for adjuncts.

Maisto to discuss adjunct issues on MSNBC this Saturday

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, will appear live on the Melissa Harris-Perry Melissa Harris-PerryShow on MSNBC on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 11:30 a.m. – noon. Maisto was invited to be part of a panel discussion on how universities and colleges treat adjunct professors.

Please use email, Facebook and Twitter to share this information with your colleagues. Then tune in and watch the show.

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry provides analysis and guest-driven discussion of political, cultural and community issues. Her show airs Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – noon ET on MSNBC.

Are you an adjunct with student debt? Contact reporter

abj story screenshotIf you are adjunct faculty with an advanced degree and student debt who is unable to find a full-time teaching position in your field, contact Akron Beacon Journal higher education reporter Carol Biliczky to share your story.

She is adding a local take on the current $1.1 trillion student debt crisis and welcomes readers’ stories.

Adjunct faculty across the state can add compelling angles to that story, since Biliczky wants to hear from those who have degrees and debt but are unable to find work. Adjuncts, many of whom are unable to find the full-time faculty jobs for which their degrees qualify them, fit that category.

Biliczky’s first installment on the series, “State lawmaker waits tables, helps with plumbing to pay off student loans,” about a student who ran up $80K in debt while attending the University of Akron and Malone College, ran in the Oct. 6 issue of the daily paper.

In future stories, she will pursue these ideas:

  • Courses of study most likely to result in high-paying jobs that make debt affordable.
  • People who have debt and degrees and are unable to find work.
  • People with debt who quit attending college before obtaining a degree.
  • Parents or relatives who have large debt from financing education for family.

Contact Biliczky at cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com or at 330-996-3729.

Death of an Adjunct author interviewed

Margaret Mary Vojtko, 83, died of a stress-related heart attack on Sept. 1 after being fired from her position as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University where she taught French for 25 years. At the time of her death, she was living in poverty and without health benefits. Since then, her story has gone viral, along with the hashtag #iammargaretmary.

In a Sept. 30 interview on Lynn Cullen Live, Dan Kovalik, author of the personal piece, talks about the worldwide impact of Professor Vojtko’s story, why adjuncts need to unionize, and Duquesne’s response to its adjuncts’ efforts to do so.

Read coverage of the story in other media outlets

Pittsburgh City Paper. Adjunct Mary Margaret Vojtko’s death raises questions on college campuses all across Pittsburgh. Oct. 2, 2013

The Street. College costs soar while adjunct faculty head to pauper’s grave. Oct. 2, 2013

CNN. Adjunct professors are the new working poor. Sept. 24, 2013

Opposing Views. Former Duquesne University Professor Margaret Mary Vojtko’s Death Reveals Plight Of Adjunct Faculty. Sept. 23, 2013

Yahoo. Should adjunct professors be paid more? Sept. 23, 2013

NPR. The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate. Sept. 22, 2013

Inside Higher Education#iammargaretmary. Sept. 19, 2013

Huff-Post CollegeWoman Who Taught At College For Decades Dies Making Reportedly Less Than $25,000 A Year. Sept. 19, 2013

Chronicle of Higher EducationAn adjunct’s death becomes a rallying cry for many in academe. Sept. 19, 2013

Watch segment on “For Profit” on Al Jazeera

Aaron Calafato’s solo performance of “For Profit” at Kent State University earlier this month was Aaron on Al Zazeerafeatured in a three-minute segment on the Al Jazeera show “Real Money” last night.

The evening also featured a panel discussion on student debt, part-time faculty and other issues in which Katherine Burke, KSU adjunct faculty and a member of OPTFA’s Organizing Committee, participated.

You can watch the segment and get a glimpse of Katherine here and view photos from the KSU performance on our Facebook page.

Calafato’s play, which includes a post-performance panel discussion on equity issues, will be part of Campus Equity Week. It will be performed at campuses around the country both before and after that week.

Upcoming Ohio performances of “For Profit” include:
  • October 28: University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.
  • November TBA: Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. With Evan Chaloupka, member of OPTFA Organizing Committee and doctoral student at CSU.

Read more about the one-man play, For Profit, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Art imitates life and debt in play about for-profit school: Plain Dealing, Aug. 16, 2013

 

UA limit on faculty work hours doesn’t promote student success

The opinion piece below was written by April Freely, Co-chair of the Organizing Committee of the Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association, in response to the Akron Beacon Journal story and column she mentions. Update: It was published as a letter to the editor in the Akron Beacon Journal on Sept. 10. 

I am writing in response to Bob Dyer’s Sept. 4 column, “Want fries with that master’s degree?” and Carol Biliczky’s article on Sept. 3, “UA to hire ‘encouragers’ to help at-risk students.”

I am one of the part-time faculty members on the UA campus, working without benefits for just above minimum wage, at around $8 an hour — a wage Jim Tressel acknowledged is comparable to the pay of an Academic Encourager in the Biliczky story.

This fall, a new restriction was written into the small print of the job proffer for part-timehours text faculty, who are 59 percent of all faculty campus-wide. While an Academic Encourager is expected to meet the needs of 20 students in a 25-hour week — for a three-credit course, part-time faculty members are now expected to meet the needs of 25 students in only 6 hours a week outside of class time. I had to tell my students that my job is at risk if I spend “too much time” in conference with them, prepping for class, or grading papers in their writing-intensive courses.

This is not a policy that promotes student success.

Our students deserve better. Our faculty deserves better. I care about issues of contingency because the faculty is the heartbeat of any campus. As long as we are not investing in our faculty, our students will not thrive.

As an African-American, first-generation college student who grew up in Cleveland’s inner city, I might have been one of those students assigned to an Academic Encourager. Around 70 percent of our students statewide are from vulnerable populations: veterans, resumed-education students, minorities, first-generation college students, students in poverty. These students need more faculty involvement, not less.

I wish everybody had an Academic Encourager—their investment in our students is worth more than this—which only brings into stark relief the poor University support for the majority of our faculty.

It is my hope that the University won’t just do something to encourage student success, but that they will take the most appropriate course of action. Faculty are a good investment—as they know the material, set the benchmarks, and most importantly, know the particular strengths and weaknesses of the students: when I tell my students they can accomplish a course goal, it is not an empty platitude.

More facts on adjuncts and wages

Adjunct wages at UA

As of this fall, part-time faculty at UA can only teach a maximum of eight credits per semester because UA is subverting the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014, to avoid providing adjuncts with health benefits.

That means adjuncts in most programs can only teach two three-credit courses per semester, as most UA courses carry three credits. That brings the annual pay range of adjuncts at UA to between $8,400 and $11,400, wages well below the poverty level.

At the same time, however, the university has not implemented a system by which part-time faculty can track their work hours.

Adjunct wages nationwide

Adjuncts nationwide typically earn an average annualized salary of $21,600 for teaching the maximum number of classes that research has shown to be acceptable without damaging the quality of education being offered. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with equivalent education, responsibility and experience average $65,000 per year.

Share your adjunct story with reporter

Update: Stephen Koff’s story, “Obamacare’s part-timer consequence: Limited work hours at colleges, municipalities,” was published at Cleveland.com on Sept. 6. April Freely, co-chair of the OPTFA Organizing Committee, and Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority and executive director of the New Faculty Majority Foundation, are quoted in the article.

A reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Washington Bureau has contacted us looking for stories about how the Affordable Care Act has affected part-time faculty in Ohio. Here is the message he posted on our Facebook page:

Stephen Koff posted on Ohio Part-Time Faculty Association’s timeline
“I’m trying to reach adjuncts in Ohio whose hours have been cut or restricted by universities that worry about the 30-hour full-time standard of the Affordable Care Act. Been affected already? Call me: Steve Koff, Washington Bureau Chief, Cleveland Plain Dealer. 202-567-2600. Or send me email with your info at skoff@plaind.com. Thanks!”Please contact Stephen Koff directly if you are willing to share your story.

WKYC takes on Tri-C administrative costs

WKYC-TV took up the topic of the growth in administrators — at the expense of academics — at Cuyahoga Community College inWKYC a two and a half minute report by Kim Wheeler that was broadcast on tonight’s evening news.

In it, April Freely, co-chair of the OPTFA organizing committee, helped answer the question, “Should tax dollars go to administration or the classroom?” She pointed out that the growth of administrators is outpacing tenured faculty hires.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.50.23 PM

Tri-C’s executive leadership structure

“I think that we owe it to our young people to put the money into things that are going to help them succeed,” Freely said.

Students interviewed in the broadcast said funding should be used for academics, not administration, while Tri-C defended its administrative structure as well as its cost.

Tri-C has more than 52,000 students on multiple campuses. It has 15 vice presidents and 20 executive directors, among other administrators.